Artbank is a weekly arts magazine show run as a collective by artists and writers active in the Auckland arts community and beyond. We are independent of any art institutions, galleries or funding bodies. We therefore aim to provide a unique and engaged perspective with a view to proving our audience access to a few of the multiple voices of the arts communities in Aotearoa.
This week we talked to contemporary moving image expert Erika Balsom, who just finished a curatorial residency at the Govett-Brewster gallery in New Plymouth. We also spoke to Artbank co-host Nadine about the relational aesthetic performance Bite Me, that she participated in at Lowtide on K a Road, and played some great tunes.
Dream Team is a series of paintings by Auckland artist Christina Pataialii. Her grouping of Tupac, Kenny Rogers, Michael Jackson, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, and Mike Tyson is an experiment in retrospective construction of former heroes. In making a series of contrasting narratives, colours and styles, Pataialii allows herself "to now be faced with questions around awkward searches for cultural identity, racial and gender stereotypes and the existence/influence of The American Dream in suburban Auckland."
We also hear from Artbanker Nadine Paredes about her recent trip back to the Philippines, and her own searches for cultural identity through painting.
Pati Solomona Tyrell’s sensationaal St Paul St show Fāgogo is discussed this week. Sione Monu, Pati Solomona Tyrell, and Manu Vaea caught up with Rachel for a chat. Fāgogo in Sāmoan refers to fables that are told to people in a shared context. The receiver of a fāgogo is vested with an expectation to pass on the story, making it their own and then passing it on. This oral tradition is sustained from generation to generation and acts as a transmission tool for ideology but also as a genealogical archive for shared historical and cultural context. A fāgogo can mirror the real world in ways that transcend contemporary life, through cultural imperatives that pre-date Western beliefs and value systems.
Mike Kelly called him the most important post-psychedelic artist... This week Theo interviewed one of the “truly original voices of American comics, Gary Panter. His latest comic - Songy of Paradise is an inspired interpretation of John Milton’s retelling of the story of Jesus being tempted by Satan after being baptized by John the Baptist and fasting for forty days and nights in the Judaean Desert. Panter’s version doesn’t rely on Milton’s words, but faithfully follows the structure of Milton’s Paradise Regained, with one notable exception: Jesus has been replaced by a hillbilly, Songy, who is on a vision quest before being tempted by a chimeric Satan figure. Stay tuned to Artbank to hear about this epic new work from the artist’s mouth.
Artbanker Theo set a bit of a record for us today, talking to 11 GUESTS IN THE HOUR. Ka pai. Firstly we heard from Amy Weng, Kalee Jackson and Rebecca Lal, three of the minds behind Te Tuhi's latest publication THE HIVE HUMS WITH MANY MINDS. This 130 page full colour limited edition printed publication features essays by Tessa Laird, Gregory Kan & Ruth Watson, and Bruce E. Phillips, plus additional contributions by exhibiting artists such as a foldout page work by Monique Jansen and texts by Shahriar Asdollah-Zadeh and Charlotte Drayton, all complemented by graphic design by Kalee Jackson.
Then we had the Bulgasari Aotearoa crew in studio. Throughout June and July, Lee Hanjoo (이한주), Lee Bong Gyo (이봉교), Yukie Sato, Taekyung Seo (서태경) and Soojung Kae (계수정) will be in residence at the Audio Foundation HQ in central Auckland where they will collaborate with local musicians – producing concerts and recordings while working toward an exhibition for the Audio Foundation gallery. Travelling with the Korean artists as key collaborators are renowned NZ musician John Bell (vibraphone/percussion) and sound artist Ian-John Hutchinson (prepared harmonicas). These two artists have been based in South Korea for over 5 years and are established figures in the Korean experimental music scene.
The Fffuture Fffocused Art Prize is organised by Riff Raff, the collaborative artist duo comprised of Li-Ming Hu and Daphne Simons. They join us in the BFM studio for a korero. "The Hive Hums with Many Minds" is the new publication from Te Tuhi, documenting their show of the same name. It explores "how these vast global mechanisms shape the local reality in Aotearoa New Zealand."
Rachael talked to Bianca Rocca and Toya Webb about their show 'Working Title', on at the George Fraser Gallery. Theo was in studio and played some Korean experimental music from the Bulgasari community. He also played some commentry from John Waters, the director of Multiple Maniacs.
Konichiwa Auckland, on Sunday we were on the line to Aiko Robinson in Tokyo. Robinson's practice draws inspiration from Shunga, an age-old term for Japanese erotic art. She fuses Shunga, (traditionally consumed by everyone men and women of all classes) with screen-shot compositions of western pornography (which is generally made by men, for men). The resulting works are striking, skillful and humourous mash-ups of sexual imagery. We also heard some good tunes, and especially some sonic goodness from Rachel - she introduced us to the sounds of pioneering producer Suzanne Ciani. Cheers for listening! Keep in touch :)
A packed Artbank this week. Graham Reid was in the studio talking about the effort that went into creating the Volume exhibition at the Auckland Museum. It is an immense sonic, visual and interactive display covering the history of music in Aotearoa. Theo talked with Olivia Blyth, about her show Communityity - the fifth show put on by Auckland based collective Hapori. Participants were asked to draw their sonic surroundings and Blyth has collated the collective renderings of aural happenings at Corbyn Estate Arts Centre. Finally we talked to Malcolm McAllister, an art teacher at Otahuhu College, who has been studying how art is taught in Cuba, and recently spent time in the country, meeting with teachers and practitioners there.